It was disappointing to say the least to see that in his October 25th article on CiF Jonathan Freedland appears to have succumbed to the myth of a non-violent First Intifada.
” There is hopeful talk of a “Palestinian spring”, a popular movement demanding independence that world opinion would find hard to oppose, one inspired by the first, stone-throwing intifada begun in 1987 rather than by the murderous second one that began in 2000. Such an uprising would also put pressure on the Israeli government to make the concessions necessary for peace, much as the first intifada pushed Israel into the Madrid and Oslo processes.”
Ironically, the event which seems to have prompted Freedland’s article is the release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, several of whom were serving sentences as a result of having been convicted for rather more than ‘stone-throwing’ during the First Intifada.
Whilst it is of course true that the Second Intifada was considerably more violent than the first one, (partly at least due to the fact that by September 2000 the Palestinian terror organisations had much easier access to weapons as a result of the Oslo process), it is by no means accurate to claim that the First Intifada was not ‘murderous’, both in its intent and results.
The First Intifada began on December 9th 1987, but its end is more difficult to date. Some sources define it as ending with the Madrid Conference of October 1991. Others consider it to have continued until the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993. Between December 1987 and September 1993, Palestinian terrorists carried out some 3,600 attacks with Molotov cocktails, 100 attacks with hand grenades and 600 attacks with guns or explosives. Below is a partial list of some of the events which Freedland and others who attempt to airbrush the First Intifada prefer to ignore.
December 28th, 1987 – Israeli postal workers discovered 8 letter bombs, one of which exploded, injuring 2 people.
March 7th, 1988 – Fatah terrorists entered Israel from Sinai, Egypt and murdered Victor Ram, Miriam Ben-Yair and Rina Sharetsky – all workers at the Dimona nuclear plant – and injured 8 others.
April 8th, 1988 – Palestinian gunmen attacked a group of hikers, killing one girl and wounding 15 others.
June 22nd, 1988 – Professor Menahem Stern was stabbed to death in Jerusalem by two Palestinian terrorists whilst walking from his home in Rehavia to the library.
August 20th, 1988 – Terrorists (probably from the Abu Nidal faction) exploded a hand grenade in a Haifa mall, injuring 25.
October 30th, 1988 – Terrorists firebombed an Israeli bus in Jericho killing a mother and her 3 children and a soldier who tried to rescue them. Ahmed al Takruri was convicted for the attack and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released under the terms of the October 2011 Shalit deal.
February 16th, 1989 – Sgt. Avi Sasportas was kidnapped and shot to death by terrorists. His body was discovered 3 months later.
March 21st, 1989 – A construction worker from Gaza – Mohammed Zakout – stabbed and killed two Israelis and seriously injured a third in Tel Aviv. He was released in October 2011 under the Shalit deal.
May 3rd, 1989 – Cpl. Ilan Sa’adon was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. His body was only discovered in 1996. Muhammed al Sharatha, head of the cell which murdered both Sasportas and Sa’adon, was released in October 2011 under the terms of the Shalit deal. Also on the same day, two Israelis were stabbed to death and three injured by Palestinian terrorists in an attack in Zion Square in Jerusalem.
June 16th, 1989 – An Israeli was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist near Ariel.
July 6th, 1989 – An Islamic Jihad terrorist forced bus no. 405 off a cliff on the road to Jerusalem, killing 14 people and wounding dozens more. The perpetrator, Abd al Hadi Rafa Ghanim, survived and was sentenced to 16 life sentences. He was released on October 18th 2011 under the Shalit deal.
May 28th, 1990 – A bomb hidden in a stall at the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem killed one person and injured 12.
May 30th, 1990 – A PLF terror attack by sea on Tel Aviv beaches was thwarted.
June 7th, 1990 – An Islamic Jihad bomb in a Jerusalem shopping centre killed one person and injured 9 others.
July 28th, 1990 – a Canadian tourist was killed and 18 others injured by a pipe bomb planted on a beach in Tel Aviv.
August 4th, 1990 – Two Israeli teenagers were kidnapped from Jerusalem and murdered.
September 20th, 1990 – Reservist Sgt Amnon Pomerantz was stoned to death and burned in his vehicle after losing his way in the Gaza Strip.
October 21st, 1990 – Three Israelis were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem.
December 2nd, 1990 – Hamas terrorists stabbed one Israeli to death and injured 3 others on a bus between Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv.
December 14th, 1990 – Hamas terrorists murdered 3 employees at a factory in Yaffo.
March 18th, 1991 – A Palestinian terrorist murdered 4 women in Jerusalem.
October 11th, 1991 – Two soldiers were killed and 11 others injured when a terrorist deliberately ran them over at the hitch-hiking station at Tel HaShomer.
October 28th, 1991 – PIJ and PFLP claimed responsibility for an attack by gunmen on a civilian bus in which two Israelis were killed and several others wounded.
February 14th, 1992 – Three Israeli soldiers were axed to death by terrorists near Kibbutz Gal’ed.
May 17th, 1992 – one Israeli was shot and killed by Palestinians in Bet Lahiye, Gaza Strip.
May 24th, 1992 – 15 year-old schoolgirl Helena Rapp was stabbed to death by a Hamas terrorist in Bat Yam. The murderer, Fuad Amrin, was released under the Shalit deal in October 2011.
May 27th, 1992 – A rabbi from Gush Katif was stabbed to death by a Hamas terrorist.
May 30th, 1992 – One Israeli was killed in Eilat by Palestinian terrorists.
June 25th, 1992 – Two Israelis were stabbed to death by Hamas terrorists in a packing house in Gaza. On the same day another Israeli was injured by a terrorist with an axe.
September 18th, 1992 – an Israeli soldier was kidnapped and stabbed by Hamas terrorists.
September 22nd, 1992 – Border policeman Avinoam Peretz was shot and killed by a Hamas terrorist in Jerusalem.
November 20th, 1992 – A car bomb planted by Hamas terrorists in Or Yehuda was defused.
December 12th, 1992 – Staff Sgt. Major Nissim Toledano was kidnapped and subsequently murdered by Hamas terrorists. Ahmed Atwan, who was sentenced to 3 life sentences for his part in the incident was released in October 2011 as part of the Shalit deal.
December 19th, 1992 – A policeman was kidnapped and murdered in Jerusalem.
February 24th, 1993 – an 11 year-old girl, Hava Wechsberg, was killed when Palestinians threw rocks at the car in which she was travelling, causing it to crash.
March 12th, 1993 – Pvt. Yeoshua Friedberg was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. Mahmud Shammasina who was serving three life sentences for his part in Friedberg’s murder (in addition to 3 others) was released in October 2011 as part of the terms of the Shalit deal.
March 29th, 1993 – An Israeli was killed by two Palestinians wielding an axe in Petah Tikva.
April 16th, 1993 – Hamas detonated a bomb in the parking lot of a restaurant at Mehola, killing one person.
May 28th, 1993 – A Yeshiva student was murdered in Hebron whilst walking to synagogue.
July 1st, 1993 – 3 Hamas terrorists killed 2 women and wounded 2 other people during an attempted bus hijack in Jerusalem.
August 5th, 1993 – An Israeli soldier – Yaron Chen – was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists. Fahad Schludi who was imprisoned for his part in the murder was released in October 2011 as part of the Shalit deal.
September 24th, 1993 – Yigal Vaknin was stabbed to death by Hamas terrorists in an orchard near his home.
In addition to the Israelis killed in the First Intifada (according to the chosen time frame, numbers range from 160 to 185), Freedland also makes no mention of the hundreds of Palestinians killed by their fellow countrymen during that time on the often trumped-up charge of ‘collaboration’ with Israel.
Freedland also appears to think that the First Intifada had the positive effect of pushing Israel towards the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accords and implies that a contemporary repeat of such an uprising might have similar effects today, of which he appears to approve.
Unfortunately, Freedland neglects to mention that after the signing of the Oslo Accords the rate of terrorism only worsened with 91 Israelis murdered between September 1993 and the end of 1994 alone.
By perpetuating the myth of a non-violent First Intifada and by ignoring the terror which subsequently worsened as a result of the refusal of assorted Palestinian terror factions to accept the concept of peace with Israel as outlined in the Oslo Accords, Freedland is apparently able to delude himself into believing that all that is needed in order for sweetness and light to envelop the Middle East is a ‘gesture’ from the current Prime Minister or the involvement of the international community.
His personal delusions are his own affair, but his air-brushing of the historical facts on the pages of the mainstream media are not.
- Shalit after Hamas captivity vs Palestinian terrorists after Israeli incarceration: A visual/moral contrast (cifwatch.com)
- When white faces at the Guardian refuse to treat non-white faces as moral equals (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian publishes letters arguing Shalit’s release (in exchange for 1027 terrorists) is unfair to Hamas (cifwatch.com)
- Jewish supremacism revisited: And, Deborah Orr’s faulty memory (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian’s Middle East Editor, Ian Black, equates Gilad Shalit with Palestinian terrorists (cifwatch.com)
- What the Guardian won’t report: Freed Palestinian terrorist implores Gaza children to follow her example (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian readers view release of Shalit for 1027 terrorists as evidence of Israeli racism! (cifwatch.com)